Bloodhound SSC is exactly what it says - a SuperSonic Car. Its goal is to attain a 1,000 mph world land speed record. The team aims to break the land speed record with the pencil-shaped car, powered by a jet engine and a rocket designed to reach 1,000 miles per hour (1,609 km/h) together with a Cosworth CA2010 Formula 1 V8 petrol engine auxiliary power unit. It is being developed and built with the intention of breaking the land speed record by 33%, the largest ever margin.
The project was announced on 23 October 2008 at the Science Museum in London by Lord Drayson - then Minister of Science in the UK's Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills - who in 2006 first proposed the project to Richard Noble and Andy Green (the two men, between them, have held the land speed record for 29 years).
One of the most critical components is the nose tip for the car, which will be the very first part to break through any new land speed record and is subject to forces as high as 12 tonnes per square metre. To cope with such loadings, a prototype tip has been designed in titanium and will be bonded to BLOODHOUND's carbon fibre monocoque body which forms the front-half of the car.
Renishaw, a leading additive manufacturing company in UK, is providing the nose tip on its laser melting machines, which use an additive manufacturing process to fuse together very thin layers of fine metallic powders to form highly complex functional components.
Image credit: Renishaw
Dan Johns, lead engineer at BLOODHOUND SSC responsible for materials, process and technologies, says: "We believe that the key benefit of using an additive manufacturing process to produce the nose tip is the ability to create a hollow, but highly rigid titanium structure, and to vary the wall thickness of the tip to minimise weight. To machine this component conventionally would be extremely challenging, result in design compromises, and waste as much as 95% of the expensive raw material. "
On 4th July, the Rt Hon David Willetts MP, UK Minister for Universities and Science, formally opened the new BLOODHOUND Technical Centre in Avonmouth, Bristol, where the iconic car is now being assembled. He also announced a £1 million grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to support the BLOODHOUND Project's education and outreach mission, which aims to inspire children about STEM subjects.
During his visit, Mr Willetts was presented with a special commemorative plaque containing a prototype nose tip manufactured by Renishaw on one of its AM250 additive manufacturing machines.
BLOODHOUND will attempt to break the 1,000 mph speed barrier during Summer 2015.
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